Last Seen After Midnight by Budjette Tan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was first introduced to Alexandra Trese and her Kambal from a friend of mine who is a fan of Budjette and Kajo, the same guy who fell in love with the metaphor of The Clinic in the Underpass Comics (read his blog here)
He then forwarded me to this blog to get to know Trese better.
She is awesome.
Budjette and Kajo's black-and-white-way of retelling Philippine folklore has a different tone from CLAMP's storytelling of Japanese folklore through Yuuko and her explanations to xxxholic. While Yuuko is considered the witch of dimensions whose own time has stopped, Alexandra, better known as Trese, is considered to be a mandirigmang-babaylan - A warrior and a shaman in one.
I first read this fourth volume while waiting for a friend in Powerbooks, planning to watch Hunger Games with his treat. Last Seen After Midnight introduced me to four cases that Trese handled as the crimes and investigations turned for the weirder, bleaker and darker. And that is the first volume I've read of all her escapades.
At first glimpse of these gothic panels, everything is simply cool. The coolness made me mass-hoard Trese's comic adventure during 2012 Summer Komikon and buy the first three volumes to get to know her better.
While the first thirteen cases are not-so-different from these four cases in the fourth volume, I shall make a different review since they are of different-feel from this one.
Cadena de Amor ended with
rating, not because of the cliche case of kidnapping women to be prostitutes abroad, but because of abrupting its ending. The justice was not delivered effectively thus the story hinted that the underworld will seek its balance, in its wicked way. This is not good for kids especially those who are enlightened that the Police/Justice System advocates the rights of the women. For me, it would be much better if the police would shut down the ship's operations, or would arrest the captain.
A Private Collection - ended with
. It has a different feel of gang war between creatures of the underworld. This enlightened me that they have human emotions too. What if we encounter an aswang-manananggal-gang-war? What if they battle flesh-for-flesh? Not knowing that the main resaon is the guy who is just enjoying the game of hunting and collecting stuff. Ridiculous as it may be, it made me curious.
Goosebumps! If I was Trese I would lose my cool from seeing Kambal disappear before my very eyes.
By the way, I was introduced the first time to NUNO SA MANHOLE here. HE LOVES SWEETS just as I am. Does this mean...? AHAHAHAHAHAHAH, nevermind.
Wanted Bedspacer is the most alluring story and won me with
. The story is totally original. The characterization of Bangungot as a lonesome woman who holds the despair of men - man, that's unique! This gives the reader a wonder what one is feeling if he has the symptoms of suicidal tendencies. This awakens the teenage readers that breaking up is hard to do, heheheheh. And for a Matrona Reader that I am, this is my personal favorite amongs the four cases.
The Fight of the Year ended with
since it gives meaning to the parody of our People's Champ Manny Pacquiao. You have to read it to see what I am trying to type in this review (but I do not want to spoil you, since, I guess, this is Budjette and KaJo's treat for you). Plus, the sexy-chic-look of Trese... imagining Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.
I shall be waiting for Trese's escapades in the next nine volumes, since the creators recently planned to release 13 Trese Komiks. Kudos to Budjette and KaJo for making storytelling of Philippine folklore appeal to the current generation. YAY! :D
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